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More on State Data Laws and the Stimulus

Schools and the Stimulus As we mentioned yesterday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is talking tough about the need for state data systems to include some sort of indicator that can be used to tie teachers to their students' performance.

Who knows whether it will happen in California, Duncan's new poster child for the issue. But the situation in Arizona may be promising for proponents of the idea, at least according to the state schools chief, Tom Horne.

I asked Horne last week (while reporting this story) whether he thought the state would actually be able to squeeze some reform out of the stimulus money, given Arizona's dire fiscal situation.

He said he thought that the law gave him leverage to add a teacher indicator to the state's data system, and the cost won't be high. According to Horne, the proposal has been languishing in the state legislature for a while. Now “schools are going to have to do it,” he said. "That’s going to be a big change” because principals can use the data to better target professional development, Horn said.

If it happens, don't be surprised if Duncan gives Arizona a little love in his data-system stump speech.

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